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General Category => Kegging and Bottling => Topic started by: Pinski on April 14, 2011, 04:19:49 PM

Title: Transporting kegged beer...in bottles?
Post by: Pinski on April 14, 2011, 04:19:49 PM
A colleague of mine recently  got motivated to brew up an IPA so he went down to a  LHBS, bought some ingredients, then came home to discover that he could only find about half of his brewing gear and was not able to proceed. Aparently he used to brew with a buddy and they shared the equipment, dude eventually moves away and yada... yada.. half of Bill's gear is gone.  So in disgust and disappointment Bill brings the ingredients to Pinski to do with as I will... and I will, or did. After substantially cranking up the recipe and brewing the beer, by this Sunday I should have a very nice keg of IPA to try.  I'd sure like to bring some to Bill and I'm wondering if you can bottle (traditional, not screw top or growler style)  force carbed, corny kegged beer from the taps?  Seems like it would be difficult considering head from the pour. Any thoughts and/or suggestions are appreciated as always. Cheers to free ingredients!
Title: Re: Transporting kegged beer...in bottles?
Post by: tschmidlin on April 14, 2011, 04:32:22 PM
I take it you don't have a beer gun or counter pressure bottle filler?

You can bottle with a racking cane stuck in the end of a cobra tap.  It's not perfect, but it works.  Chill the bottles really well, and slightly over carbonate the beer (it's hard to say how much) to account for loses during bottling.
Title: Re: Transporting kegged beer...in bottles?
Post by: Pinski on April 14, 2011, 04:44:04 PM
I take it you don't have a beer gun or counter pressure bottle filler?

You can bottle with a racking cane stuck in the end of a cobra tap.  It's not perfect, but it works.  Chill the bottles really well, and slightly over carbonate the beer (it's hard to say how much) to account for loses during bottling.
So, I think I'm seeing what you're saying but what is the purpose of the racking cane? By counter pressure bottle filler are you referring to the simple plastic check valve fillers that everybody starts with? I have one of those.  Do you just replace a cobra tap with that and bottle as normal?
Title: Re: Transporting kegged beer...in bottles?
Post by: Beer Monger on April 14, 2011, 04:46:04 PM
I take it you don't have a beer gun or counter pressure bottle filler?

You can bottle with a racking cane stuck in the end of a cobra tap.  It's not perfect, but it works.  Chill the bottles really well, and slightly over carbonate the beer (it's hard to say how much) to account for loses during bottling.
So, I think I'm seeing what you're saying but what is the purpose of the racking cane? By counter pressure bottle filler are you referring to the simple plastic check valve fillers that everybody starts with? I have one of those.  Do you just replace a cobra tap with that and bottle as normal?

No.

THIS (http://mountainhomebrew.com/counterpressurebottlefiller.aspx) is a counter-pressure filler.  You barely lower the pressure enough to allow the beer to flow from the keg into the bottle & then immediately cap - no foam, no loss of carbonation while bottling.

"The Counter Pressure Bottle Filler lets you fill bottles with carbonated beer from the keg. It fills the bottles under Co2 pressure so the beer stays carbonated in the bottles indefinitely. It's a great tool if you just want to bottle a portion of your batch without worrying about natural carbonation or if you want to send it to competitions sediment free! It is designed to be used with 1/4" ID high pressure line."

I'll be breaking out mine in a month or so, to bottle some of my Chamomile Ale when it's ready. 
Title: Re: Transporting kegged beer...in bottles?
Post by: tschmidlin on April 14, 2011, 04:51:52 PM
I take it you don't have a beer gun or counter pressure bottle filler?

You can bottle with a racking cane stuck in the end of a cobra tap.  It's not perfect, but it works.  Chill the bottles really well, and slightly over carbonate the beer (it's hard to say how much) to account for loses during bottling.
So, I think I'm seeing what you're saying but what is the purpose of the racking cane? By counter pressure bottle filler are you referring to the simple plastic check valve fillers that everybody starts with? I have one of those.  Do you just replace a cobra tap with that and bottle as normal?
Yeah, like Beer Monger said, that is a CP filler.

When I said racking cane I really meant the plastic check valve thing you mentioned, a bottling wand or whatever you want to call it.  You can just shove one of those into the end of your cobra tap and away you go.
Title: Re: Transporting kegged beer...in bottles?
Post by: jeffy on April 14, 2011, 04:52:58 PM
"By counter pressure bottle filler are you referring to the simple plastic check valve fillers that everybody starts with? I have one of those.  Do you just replace a cobra tap with that and bottle as normal?"


Now that you know what a counter pressure filler looks like, what Tom was saying was to put your simple plastic check valve filler that everybody has into the end of your black plastic cobra tap and use that to fill the growler from the keg.  It keeps your beer from picking up an excessive amount of air when bottling.  Most brewpubs that fill growlers put a plastic hose on the tap and fill the bottle from the bottom.  It's the same thing.
Title: Re: Transporting kegged beer...in bottles?
Post by: Pinski on April 14, 2011, 04:58:36 PM
Sounds very doable. Thanks guys.
Title: Re: Transporting kegged beer...in bottles?
Post by: denny on April 14, 2011, 05:39:51 PM
I've used this setup for years and it works great...

(http://www.strangebrew.ca/Drew/cheap_gfx/bottle_filler.jpg)

"This is a short piece of 3/16" ID racking hose with a small bung on it. The hose will fit snugly into a cobra tap.

To fill a bottle, chill the bottle to as cold, or colder than the beer, and ensure the beer is slightly more carbonated than you want it. Insert the hose into the tap, and then the hose into the bottle so the bung is snug. Start filling. The pressure in the bottle will quickly equilize, at which point you use your thumb to put pressure on one side of the bung to release bottle pressure. The beer will slowly fill the bottle. Cap as quickly as possible.

It sounds complicated, but it isn't."

From http://www.strangebrew.ca/Drew/cheap.html
Title: Re: Transporting kegged beer...in bottles?
Post by: weithman5 on April 14, 2011, 06:05:10 PM
go to the downloads section of the main website.  their is a short book in there about gadgets and such. one section is completely dedicated to this concept takes all of 30-45 seconds to check on.
Title: Re: Transporting kegged beer...in bottles?
Post by: Beer Monger on April 14, 2011, 06:10:18 PM
If you ever want to go the next step & get a counter-pressure filler, I think it's really worth it.

I also built myself a 'bottling table'.  The counter-pressure filler is 'mounted' with metal straps & some PVC plastic 'T's to a vertical pole attached to the table.  The pole has a 'stop' on it so the filler can't touch the table - stays suspended above it.

Right beside that on the table I have mounted a bench-capper.  So, once I fill a bottle I can just 'let go' of the filler, and grab the handle on my capper w/o worrying about setting down the filler someplace 'unsanitary'. 
Title: Re: Transporting kegged beer...in bottles?
Post by: Pinski on April 14, 2011, 07:26:12 PM
You guys are making me want to bottle more.  Not really but this is great stuff. So have you guys found that once you have kegging equipment, that you force carbonate and bottle from from kegs on occasions when you want some bottles on hand or to give out? Or do you prefer the "add sugars" natural method?  I like that the keg method would allow you to bottle with minimal sediment potential.
Title: Re: Transporting kegged beer...in bottles?
Post by: beersk on April 14, 2011, 07:38:54 PM
I do the "el cheapo" method and think it's great.  Use a picnic tap and bottle wand, chill the bottles, turn the PSI down to about 3 or so and release the pressure off the keg.  Fill bottles to about an inch or less of the top of the bottle and cap on foam.  Works like a charm.
I don't think counter pressure fillers really are worth it when you can do it this way.  But ya know, I could be wrong too...
Title: Re: Transporting kegged beer...in bottles?
Post by: jeffy on April 14, 2011, 08:12:22 PM
I only bottle for entering competitions.  When I share homebrew with friends I use plastic bottles with carbonator caps.
The Beer Gun is a great tool.
Title: Re: Transporting kegged beer...in bottles?
Post by: Mark G on April 14, 2011, 08:20:03 PM
I've used this setup for years and it works great...

(http://www.strangebrew.ca/Drew/cheap_gfx/bottle_filler.jpg)

"This is a short piece of 3/16" ID racking hose with a small bung on it. The hose will fit snugly into a cobra tap.

To fill a bottle, chill the bottle to as cold, or colder than the beer, and ensure the beer is slightly more carbonated than you want it. Insert the hose into the tap, and then the hose into the bottle so the bung is snug. Start filling. The pressure in the bottle will quickly equilize, at which point you use your thumb to put pressure on one side of the bung to release bottle pressure. The beer will slowly fill the bottle. Cap as quickly as possible.

It sounds complicated, but it isn't."

From http://www.strangebrew.ca/Drew/cheap.html
This is basically the way I do it too. I've always wanted a CP filler or a Beergun, but this is just too easy to motivate me to spend the money.
Title: Re: Transporting kegged beer...in bottles?
Post by: denny on April 14, 2011, 08:22:15 PM
This is basically the way I do it too. I've always wanted a CP filler or a Beergun, but this is just too easy to motivate me to spend the money.

Same here, man.  Until I find something wrong with this method, I'm not going to spend money on something else.
Title: Re: Transporting kegged beer...in bottles?
Post by: tschmidlin on April 14, 2011, 08:39:06 PM
Don't skip over beersk comments about turning the pressure down.  You want it over carbonated to account for losses, but you also want to fill as slowly as you can tolerate to minimize foaming.
Title: Re: Transporting kegged beer...in bottles?
Post by: denny on April 14, 2011, 10:03:45 PM
That's the beauty of that setup I posted.  You can leave the pressure as it is and control flow rate (and foaming) by how far you crack the cork.
Title: Re: Transporting kegged beer...in bottles?
Post by: tschmidlin on April 14, 2011, 10:07:33 PM
That's the beauty of that setup I posted.  You can leave the pressure as it is and control flow rate (and foaming) by how far you crack the cork.
That would be after the initial rush of beer and foaming, right? :)
Title: Re: Transporting kegged beer...in bottles?
Post by: denny on April 14, 2011, 10:56:04 PM
That's the beauty of that setup I posted.  You can leave the pressure as it is and control flow rate (and foaming) by how far you crack the cork.
That would be after the initial rush of beer and foaming, right? :)

I've never noticed that happening.  There is an initial rush of beer, but I don't recall any foaming for the little bit that flows before pressure build up stops it.  But I haven't bottled anything in a long time, so I may be misremembering.
Title: Re: Transporting kegged beer...in bottles?
Post by: Will's Swill on April 14, 2011, 11:03:08 PM
I like the thumb-on-stopper method that Denny describes, but I use a roller valve on the fill tube to control flow.  Makes it easier to shut off when the bottle is full, too.
Title: Re: Transporting kegged beer...in bottles?
Post by: narcout on April 14, 2011, 11:07:33 PM
I'd sure like to bring some to Bill and I'm wondering if you can bottle (traditional, not screw top or growler style)  force carbed, corny kegged beer from the taps?

Turn off gas to keg, bleed most of pressure through release valve, purge bottle with CO2 from extra outlet on manifold, fill at an angle straight from tap, and cap on foam.

I fill all my competition bottles this way, and it works very well.  I usually don't lose more than an ounce or two of beer throughout the whole process.

I have perlick faucets with removable spouts, and I do like to remove and sanitize them before bottling.
Title: Re: Transporting kegged beer...in bottles?
Post by: tschmidlin on April 15, 2011, 01:07:42 AM
That's the beauty of that setup I posted.  You can leave the pressure as it is and control flow rate (and foaming) by how far you crack the cork.
That would be after the initial rush of beer and foaming, right? :)
I've never noticed that happening.  There is an initial rush of beer, but I don't recall any foaming for the little bit that flows before pressure build up stops it.  But I haven't bottled anything in a long time, so I may be misremembering.
I don't bottle anything that way, so I can't say either.  But it happens all of the time in my head ;)

If I have to bottle, I'll use a beer gun if I have a lot to do, and just fill from the tap if it's a growler.